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Who will be our ‘Surprise Packet’?

pjayz

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Which player will really stand up for us this year? Someone who will surprise us with how well he goes?

I think everyone expects Schuster to go well so I won’t pick him.

I think it might be Cust at 9. He has an opportunity to really lock in a regular first grade role. Even if Fainu comes back (which I hope he does), Cust can then take that integral utility role and be a genuine half/hooker option off the bench.

The other player that I hope has a break-out year is Olakau’atu. I just hope Des uses him more on the edge than the middle. It’s ok to rotate him if necessary, but boy he would be dangerous down that left edge.

These are my two picks. What do others think?
 

Woodsie

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Agree 100% on your comments about Olakau’atu , needs a shot at starting 2nd row ..

My picks for standout seasons are Paseka, this will be his first year as a man, and it will show .. and Aloaia, the salty sea air will revitalise him and he will soar like an Eagle rather than sculk along the ground like a cat ..
 

Ranga

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Left field here but I reckon Funa who had a bit of a baptism under fire last year might just jump out and surprise.

There are other more obvious ones of course.
Good call Mark. He runs very good lines as a centre and I can see many line breaks for him running off DCE, Foz and Schuster.

Funa and Walker should start in the centres, while Suli works his way back into FG. The thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if Funa never looks back if he gets first crack next year...
 

Dion Johnson

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Tent needs to be in the starting lineup, hopefully he stays fit for the season. Gets his arm free a fair bit and attracts three to four defenders, hopefully he has got Turbo backing him up looking for the offload.

Suli will have a better season, lots of competition to keep him on his toes this season.
 

Mark from Brisbane

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Good call Mark. He runs very good lines as a centre and I can see many line breaks for him running off DCE, Foz and Schuster.

Funa and Walker should start in the centres, while Suli works his way back into FG. The thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if Funa never looks back if he gets first crack next year...
Agree 100% he’s got talent to burn but was unjustly crucified a bit on here this year after he was thrown into the fullback role.

I like him!!
 

robbiea

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Turbo staying healthy all season ,will be my surprise pick.
Really looking forward to Olakauatu getting a shot.
Think Aloaia is going to be a favourite here sooner than later.
Also thinking our backs will be a well oiled big ,fast machine .
 

robbiea

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I have a real fear that this may not happen ... maybe I'm just a worry wart ..
One great game then it seemed he got caught sh!tting on Des's doorstep.
I too am not convinced he will be a staple anytime soon.
 

AlxFromNthNarra

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I am thinking who NEEDS to play well for us this year - the guys up for contract negs.

Here are some of the lesser-mentioned guys so far in this thread, sorry if its a bit long, but there are a few of them needing to deliver this year, think we can all agree:

D.Walker - Market value has taken a hit due to injury and behaviour. With contract up this year and a number of younger kids coming through for the exact positions he has played in, I'm hoping he has a cracker for us to make up for last year and his off-field dramas. He was playing super-good last year before injuries. He Either has a good year, or he fades into obscurity and a lower pay-grade with liability considerations, for another team.

R.Garrick - With the signing of 2 new young wingers, Reuben will hopefully use that as his springboard to make a statement that he belongs in first grade. He showed good form as a finisher in his first year, and his drop-off last year can arguably be attributed to a lack of setup from halves/inside backs/Siro, and his use as an early-tackle-count-runner who got ragdolled near our line.

Jetski - Came into last season following a pretty serious back injury if I recall, started the season a bit light and confidence-shaken and it showed. With the right pre-season, conditioning/bulking and a few solid games, he could be the peak-Thommo replacement we need. Has that determination to pounce on opportunity which I like, and will have plenty of competition this year now with Aloiai's long-term signing.

Scorpio - With Suli potentially recovering from that foot injury of his early, Schuster/Foran potentially eyeing off 5/8th (forcing Walker back to his preferred center position), and Funa commanding respect, Brad is playing for his career - at the age of 23. This might be the year we find whether he is more than a depth-option in a fairly busy backline at Manly - or perhaps if he can transition to a Fwd role, like a Luke Lewis. Determined kid, wouldn't put it past him.

M.Boyle - Thought he was going, yet it seems he's staying. Keppie and Tent are long-term signings, Marty has a mortgage on a Prop position, which leaves him battling out 2nd-fiddle Prop depth position with Tof Sipley - who has 2019 runs on the board. AFB going however leaves a window of opportunity. Only 24, he has to make a move now or he'll be nickel&diming short-term contracts in the forseeable future as a depth-signing option at best. I don't think we've seen anywhere near his best yet, and I'm optimistic he'll deliver when called upon.

T.Sipley - Was going great guns in 2019 before that knee-injury and hasn't made it back on the park for us. Showed that he had a solid first-grade game and I was surprised that he wasn't utilised at all last year given some of the performances the team put in, and the perseverance shown with other Props not necessarily killing it, if you know what I mean. As per Boyle, with AFB gone there is no walk-up prop pairing (altho Tent stakes a solid case) - the dude has to earn it and own it this year, and he has shown he can.

L.Croker - Yes our favourite whipping boy. Lachie had big raps and a footballer's last-name, and stands as our most suitable DCE-injury backup (with Cust). Questions around his footy brain/instinct and his capability as a reliable utility abound, and rightfully so - but he hasn't exactly had a stable role in the team to build into, and has the worst injury luck. He's only 23. Plays as a Utility, hooker, half. Tries hard and is a determined, scrappy player - I hope he catches a break and some consistency, as I suspect he will be in the mix somewhere while Fainu is out.

C.Sironen - This is a hard one, as he was both good and bad for us last year. He has flourished at Manly (into a fringe Blues player in 2019). As an individual player he is outstanding. As a team player, I question his decisions at times. He often was the cul-de-sac in our backline moves, shifting the attk direction and starving outside backs of ball. He has played as a 5/8th suggesting variety in play, but his variety is lacking - he gets predictable. Huge heart and more of his 2019 form and he'll own the 2nd-row with Aloiai.

J.Taufua - Young wingers around him, injury setbacks and a pretty forgettable season in general last year. As much as I want him to have a breakout year and add that punchy first hit-up on kick-returns that we missed last year, I suspect he'll be out for a while with that injury. As a winger his speed will likely be further hampered, and a emergence of at least one of these young wingers we have on the books is extremely likely. Salute to you Jorge.

Others have talked about Foz & Funa who I both think will have cracking years too.
 

SeaEagleRock8

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Which player will really stand up for us this year? Someone who will surprise us with how well he goes?
That is two different questions!!
We have any number of blokes who could really stand up and excel this year.
But only one would really surprise us - and you all know who that is, lol :)
 

bob dylan

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Left field here but I reckon Funa who had a bit of a baptism under fire last year might just jump out and surprise.

There are other more obvious ones of course.


Thats not left field.

Jorge Taufua will be the leading try scorer for 2021. 32 tries, including 4 on grand final day.
 

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